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Degradable Polymer Architectures

π-conjugated polymers have many potential applications in modern devices and are anticipated to rapidly commercialize in the near-future. Most of the research into the sustainability of these materials focuses on their synthesis. Far less research is concerned with the fate of these materials at the end-of-life of the devices they are incorporated in. The development of degradable π-conjugated polymers is necessary to solve this issue. One approach to designing degradable π-conjugated polymers is to incorporate linkers into the polymer backbones that maintain conjugation, yet are cleavable under specific conditions. Many of the currently utilized degradable linkers degrade under mild conditions, and are not suitable for applications in long-lifetime consumer devices. We are targeting the development of more robust conjugated linkers that are stable enough to be used in long-lifetime devices, yet degrade under specific conditions (oxidation, reduction, light, etc.).